Olivia's Genealogy Site:
This Web page is based on research of records known to be valid from
State records, Federal records, manuscripts, and private papers. The
Lowrie History was written by Mrs. Mary C. Norment of
THE LOWRIE HISTORY
As Acted In Part By
HENRY BERRY LOWRIE
With Biographical Sketch Of His Associates
Copyrighted by E.E. Page, 1909, fourth edition
Walter Raleigh made ready a new colony
with John White the Governor, with twelve assistants, who were virtually
named as alderman, of what was to be the “City of
1587, August 13 Manteo who remained the faithful friend of the Indians was baptized by a clergyman of the established Church and was made Lord of Roanoke and Dassamonguepeuk, this being the only title of nobility ever given to a native of the new world by English authorization.
1587, August 18 Governor White’s daughter, Eleanor Dare, the wife of Ananias Dare, one of the assistants, gave birth to a daughter who was christened “Virginia”, and who was the first child of English parentage born in this hemisphere.
1587, August 27
John White sailed to
1590 John White’s drawings were engraved on copper and printed in a number of languages by Theodore DeBray, the chief German artist and printer of that time.
Early French, English, Irish and German immigrants who came among the Croatans in the Robeson section seem to have frequently married these Indians. The name Chavis, now common, is a corruption of a French name, as also Blaux, while Leary was O’Leary. In building they show much skill, They have the Indian love for bright colors and when walking in bodies they march in Indian file, one behind the other. They brought with them from the coast country the love of tobacco and the knowledge of how to grow it and and the earliest visitors to the Robeson section found patches of tobacco near their houses. They never forget an obligation or a debt, nor do they forget a kindness or an insult. A century ago they had good inns for travelers. Their women are extremely handsome and the most noted one among them now is Rhoda Lowrie, the widow of Henry Berry Lowrie, a famous outlaw. State Auditor Dixon recently visited the Croatans and spoke to a great assemblage of them at Pates, the location of their normal college.
Huguenots, exiled from their homes, who found refuge in
The language spoken by the Croatans is a very pure but
quaint old Anglo-Saxon and there are in daily use some 75 words which have come
down from the great days of
1719 The governments of
1730 It was in 1730 that Scotchmen arrived in the section of the State where the Croatans now are and at the coming of these their records show that they found on Lumber river, Robeson county, a large tribe of Indians speaking English, farming, owning slaves and showing many evidences of civilization. These held their lands in common and land titles became know only after the advent of the whites.
1732 The first grant to any of the Croatans is dated in 1732, being to Henry Berry and James Lowrie, two of the leading men, and covered large tracts in Robeson county. The Croatans were found to be hospitable and entirely friendly to their white neighbors.
The following was some time after 1732:
After the white settlers began to come in, a part of this tribe went north and settled around the Great Lakes, some of their descendants now being in Canada, west of Lake Ontario, while a number of these people, described as whites, emigrated into the great North Carolina mountain region, the tribe in Robeson county now claiming certain families in western North Carolina to be, like themselves, descendants of the lost English colonists. When the first whites arrived Indians had built excellent roads connecting their most distant settlements with the principle seat of their government, if so it can be called, which was on the Lumbee river, that being the Indian name of what is now termed the Lumber river. One of these roads extends for twenty miles to what is called Fayetteville, and their greatest highway yet bears the name of the “Lowrie road”, and is used to this day, extending from Fayetteville through two counties to an old settlement on the Pee Dee River.
This is the date that the Scotch first began settling in Robeson county and was
after the disasterous battle of Culloden.
At that time Robeson was part of
1748 William Fort was granted land by George II.
<![endif]>August 9 James Lowrie bought a tract of land
containing one hundred acres from William Fort, to whom it was granted by George
II (in 1748). He also entered
another tract of land containing three hundred acres adjoining the above tract,
the grant being signed by George III.
James Lowrie settled on the land.
Mrs. Norment described James Lowrie as a tall well-proportioned, fine
looking, respectable Indian. The
swamp where he settled became known as
1776 Revolutionary War
William Lowrie, James Lowrie’s oldest son, entered into the Revolutionary War under the command of the Whig patriot, Col. Thomas Robeson, after whom
Revolutionary War the Lowries moved down into scuffletown and built on the place
now known as the “Harper Ferry place,”
and kept a ferry there across
<![endif]>John Gilchrist, Esq., father bought out James
Lowrie in 1791 at the close of the Revolutionary War.
James Lowrie moved from
<![endif]>James Murphy amassed considerable property and
was the owner of slaves. He married
a Cumbo, a half-breed Tuscarora Indian woman with a good countenance.
He left the area about 1792 with one of the Hunts and settled on the
Great Pee Dee in
1812 A number of the Croatans served in the war of 1812.
1835 The law of 1835 closed every avenue of hope and said in effect that they must submit to being absorbed by the negro race. Their white neighbors withdrew many privileges which had previously been granted them. It must be born in mind that this intolerable condition existed for over fifty years. The croatans have very quick perceptions, distinguishing readily between a flatterer and a friend, and they say frankly that they hold the former in contempt, and esteem the latter highly. Until 1835 the Croatans could vote and perform militia duty, own slaves, built churches and schools houses and lived comfortably, many of them after the English manner, but a state convention which met that year denied the right to vote to all “free persons of color”. After their disfranchisement in 1835 the Indians, who rebelled against being classed as mulattoes, became suspicious of the whites and it was very difficult to get any information from them regarding their history, though of traditions they had no end.
1838 Until 1838 they lost the right to vote until 1868, being nearly twenty years before the time when they were set apart by the state as a separate people.
<![endif]>John B. Kelly, Esq., of
1860 The 1860
1862,----Mr. William C. McNeill was walking in his lane when he heard footsteps near his barn and he hid himself as he suspected what they wanted and guessed at their intentions. He asked who they were without getting an answer he told them if they did not leave that he would force them to go. A voice was heard that he recognized and went to the house to get a gun. He came back and went to the corner of the fence near to the house. He asked again who was there. “One, with and oath, cried out, “It is Lowrie.” Mr. McNeill went toward the house when he was fired at and the bullet missed him and hit his daughter with a painful but not serious wound. “On the following day Henry Berry Lowrie visited Moss Neck, a depot on the Carolina Central Railway, and within a few hundred yards of Mr. McNeill’s residence; he denied all knowledge of the shooting, and expressed great indignation at the guilty parties for having shot two ladies; he sent for Mr. McNeill to go to the depot; he wanted to tell him that he did not do it, but he Mr. McNeill refused to see or to have anything to say to him. The next day he again visited Moss Neck and was under the influence of liquor he seemed to be excited and several times asserted that he did shoot at Mr. McNeill and tried his best to kill him.”
1862, spring---Mr. John Purcell came upon Steve Lowrie asleep in the corner of the fence, with his gun standing a short distance from him. This was near the house of a family of Indians, who were Mr. Purcell’s tenants. “Steve, no doubt, was waiting for his breakfast, as the family were known to not only cook and wash for him, but also to give the band all the information they could gather. They were near relatives of the Strongs and Lowries. The same day that Mr. Purcell saw Steve Lowrie, he, with Andrew Strong, went to the house of Mr. Henry McCallum, a son of Mr. John McCallum, and took his gun and watch. Mrs. McCallum asked them to give her the watch, and they did it. The citizens were afraid to let more than one or two at a time into a plan to capture them; the friends of the gang were so numerous, scattered throughout the country, that it was impossible to make a move without their becoming apprised of it. Their friends were as loud in denunciation of them as their enemies; for this reason it was impossible in many cases to discover between the two.”
1864-February 24 to 1874
The Lowries lived in Scuffletown.
Old Allen Lowrie held in contempt the common Scuffletonians.
He purchased a tract of land from a white man who was a small farmer, in
a neighborhood which comprised families equal in point of education, refinement
and wealth to any community in the
Depredations committed in the
Henry Berry Lowrie, the leader of the band, is a son of
Allen Lowrie and a great grand-son of James Lowrie whom all the Lowries in
Robeson descended. He is of mixed
blood, Tuscarora Indian, and the Cavalier blood of
The gang was formed to retaliate on the white race because the Home Guard of the county found Allen Lowrie, their father; and William Lowry, their brother, receivers of stolen goods from various parts of the surrounding country in the month of February, 1864. The Home Guard found them guilty sentenced them to be shot.
1864, April Mr. McNair’s house was robbed.
1864, December 14 The gang went to the house of Mr. Richard Townsend and took his gun. A few weeks after their visit to Mr. Richard Townsend’s they called at the house of his brother Jackson.
21 James P. Barnes was killed. He
was post-master at
1865 they visited Mr. Townsend’s again. They beat and banged against the doors, and on failing to get in, retired a short distance and fired two guns into the house, but did no further damage.
1865 January, Mr. Harriss was killed.
This death was as a result of the fact that during the war
Indian people were drafted to work on the defences below
ANOTHER ENTRY ABOUT THE MURDER OF THE YOUNG MEN IN THE PARAGRAPH ABOVE:
One of the greatest of all the families of the tribe is the
Lowries and three young men of this tribe, instead of being sent to the front as
soldiers, were treated as colored persons, drafted and sent to work to build
Mr. McNair’s smoke-house and store-room were robbed; a large quantity of pork and a good many other valuable things were taken.
1865 January or the first of February the gang went to Mrs. Ashley’s and demanded admittance; she inquired what they wanted; one answered in a feminine voice, “We want your money.” They did not get in but returned a few nights afterwards when Mrs. Ashley was away from home. Mr. Paul was there and they told him that it was Needham Thompson, a brother of Mrs. Ashley, and Council, (a negro belonging to her father. Mr. Paul opened the door and the men rushed in and ransacked the house taking off with bed clothing, wearing apparel and anything else they could conveniently carry. The news of the break-in spread from house to house in a few hours and caused fright among those in the community.
Rev. Pepper stated that he lived in the neighborhood in which the Lowries lived in 1865 and was well acquainted with Allen Lowrie, the father of Henry Berry. He said that Allen Lowrie was a sort of a chief in the community in which he lived. He attended church every Sabbath. He was perhaps the wealthiest, and most intelligent and respectable of all the free people in that community. He was a tall, fine looking Indian, with straight hair, and a physiognomy that indicated Indian blood was greatly predominant. He lived in a comfortable frame building, had a farm, and made a good living. He was respected by the whites of the community and looked up to by the colored.
Rev. Pepper told how a brief court-martial of Allen Lowrie and his son, William, was held and they were found guilty and sentenced to be shot. William attempted to make his escape, but a shot from one of the company brought him down, but did not kill him. They carried him to Mr. Robert McKinzie’s where they had several others, who had been also arrested and held in confinement by members of the same company for examination. Sufficient evidence was not given to criminate any of the party except Allen and William Lowrie; the others were released. Several men were detailed to execute the sentence. Allen requested time to pray, which was granted him. They were then led out and bound-a short pause- a loud report-and the prisoners fell lifeless to the earth.
1865 March –The clan paid their first visit to Mr. Joseph Thompson after night and came up cheering and shouting, “Yankees are coming.” They took the four men inside as prisoners. They took guns, clothing and bed-clothing. They took the hats of the gentlemen who were there.
1866, November 18th---The Lowrie bandits visited
the house of Mr. Daniel Baker, who lived about two miles from
<![endif]>Henry filed his way out of the Whiteville jail in
<![endif]>Henry Berry Lowry was formally committed to jail
1867, June Mr. McNair’s study and dining-room were entered. From the study they took another bed, bolster, pillows, blankets, sheets, combs, brushes, a quantity of clothing, etc. From the dining room they took crockery-ware, knives, silver forks and spoons.
<![if !supportLists]> 1868 <![endif]>Shoemaker John, his occupation was a shoemaker, and some of the Lowrie gang went on a robbing expedition some time in the autumn of this year.
1868,-------The clan would sometime appear to be somebody else in order to gain access to a house. A white man who appeared to be a traveler went to the home of Mr. Mallory McPhaul and told him that he was from Whiteville, (the county-seat of an adjoining county, where a brother of Mr. McPhaul resided); that his brother was at the point of death and wanted him to go see him if he wished to see him alive. When he got to his brother’s house he realized that he had been deceived by the gang. He hurried home to find that he had been robbed of bacon and other food. They did not bother anyone.
The gang members could not be found for a while because of
their knowledge of the dense swamps of
1870,----The clan visited Mr. William C. McNeill again at which time they tried to enter his smoke-house but were not able to and left empted handed.
1870, March 19-----Mr. O. C. Norment was shot in his yard a few feet from the door. Mr. Norment heard something outside his house and opened the door and started outside when he was shot. He was shot when he thought he heard footsteps and went outside to check he leaped toward the open door and his wife helped him get inside. He told his wife to close the door and get him his rifle in case they might attempt to come inside and she did as he asked. She screamed until Mr. J.D. Bridgers, her father and several other members of the family got there. “This diabolical deed spread gloom and terror through-out the community, and may well be said to have been the beginning of the war in Robeson county with the Lowrie Banditti.”
1870, April 21---“H.B. Lowrie, Boss Strong, Andrew Strong and George Applewhite made their appearance at the house of Mr. John Purnell, about sundown.”
1870, May----The band visited the home of Mr. Zach Fulmore on the third Sunday in May while the family was at church. They took off a large amount in valuable articles and money. “Mr. Robert Chaffin and wife were on a visit to Mr. Fulmore at the time, but had also gone to church, leaving their trunk there; this they entered, taking a suit of Mr. Chaffin’s, a watch-case, key and some very valuable papers that were in the trunk. They did not trouble Mr. Chaffin’s clothing beyond robbing the pocket of a dress of a small pen-knife.”
1870, August 4----“While Mr. E.H. Paul, a young man who then resided in Alfordsville
Township, and who owned a store and turpentine distillery, was absent at the polls to vote when the band went to his house and demanded of his sister the key that opened the store; she having thrown it away when she saw them coming, replied that she did not have it; whereupon they arrested her and her cousin, Mr. Richard Paul, and all the domestics, and put them in the kitchen under guard.” They then took the things that they wanted.
1870. August 17----The clan visited the home of Mr. James D. Bridgers after dark and used noises to try and draw the people in the house into the yard. They did not draw the folks out of the house and they decided to kill their cattle----they killed two and wounded others.
1870, September 12-----Five members of the clan went to the home of Mr. Alexander McMillan, ESQ. A coffin was being made for a child of one of the neighbors when they appeared in disguise. They were taken into the kitchen and were guarded by some of the members while others searched the house. They were robbed of a variety of things of value both in the house and in the smoke house.
1870, October 3-----The band went to the home of Mrs.
William McKay who lived near
1870, Oct. 4----This was the time of the Old Field fight
which resulted in the killing of Stephen Davis and the wounding of Angus McLean.
The whole band visited the home of Mr. Angus Leach, near
1870, October 8----“On this morning the body of Mr. Malcomb Sanderson was found near Mr. William C. McNeill’s saw mill in Robeson County. An inquest was held over his body by Coroner Robert Chaffin, and the verdict was, “Deceased came to his death by gun-shot wounds from parties unknown.” Mr. McNeill’s son-in-law, Mr. John Taylor, was accused of the murder. He was later killed by, as reported, Henry Berry Lowrie, Stephen Lowrie, and Boss Strong.
1870. November---The robbers made their last visit to Mr. Townsend’s in November.
1870, November 19-----John Sanders, a police officer from Boston, and a native of Nova Scotia pretended to befriend the outlaws and their families so that they could be captured. He knew that they wanted to leave the county and so he agreed to help. “He had wagons packed with the their families because the outlaws had fully agreed to slip off with them under the cover of darkness, Sanders having arranged beforehand to have them intercepted at some designated point in Georgia. To bind the Scuffletonians to his confidence by extraordinary means, he pretended to organize Masonic lodges throughout Scuffletown whilst teaching school. He spent over twelve months in persevering cunning to win the skeptical hearts of the bandits, and in order to appease the white population, told the uninitiated that he was a veritable Ku Klux. He got into several fisticuff fights with white men, about his manner and mode of living, on account of his living among the Scuffletonians and teaching school among them. Sanders was a large, portly man, of great muscular power possessing a kind, benignant look, a high, broad forehead, winning manners, with much keenness of apprehension and undoubted boldness. But he was betrayed, and there is reason to believe that his fate is to be attributed to the want of due caution on the part of some one who had learned his purposes. He died as he had lived in a mystery and out of the reach or sight of pitying man.”
1870, November 20-----“About the middle of November of 1870, a detective who had been employed to watch the movements of the Lowrie gang of this county, established a camp in a bay near Moss neck for the purpose of prosecuting his mission with as much secrecy as possible. The camp was near the house of Mr. W.C. McNeill whose son, Malcom, was in the habit of visiting the camp occasionally, and giving Mr. Sanders such assistance as he could. On Sunday, November 20, he met with three young men whom he knew to be reliable and planned to meet them after night at the camp of Mr. Sanders. They met at the camp about 4 o’clock in the afternoon to await the arrival of Mr. McNeill, who did not reach the camp until about 7 o’clock p.m. When Mr. McNeill approached the camp he could see the men he was supposed to meet. They told him that the camp was surrounded by the robbers and that if he attempted to escape he would be shot. Mr. McNeill reached for his pistol and four men arose among the bushes with cocked guns and warned him that he was their prisoner. The men were Henry B. Lowrie, Stephen Lowrie, George Applewhite, and Boss Strong. McNeill then took his position around the camp fire but after a short time H.B. Lowrie summoned him to go with him a short distance from the camp; H.B.Lowrie told him that he wanted to know where Sanders was. H.B. Lowrie went on to say that he was told by a respectable white man that he, Mr. McNeill, was harboring Sanders and doing all that he could to assist him in hunting down the gang. Mr. McNeill told him that he had seen Sanders, last Saturday week. After that Stephen Lowrie took Mr. McNeill out for a chat and got the same information. All of them stayed there the remainder of the night. Later that night, Sanders appeared and suttendered.”
1870, November 21----“
John Sanders, a police officer from, and a native of Nova Scotia, was
taken captive by Henry Berry Lowrie and the other bandits on the of November 21
in a bay near the residence of W.C. Mc Neill and was never again seen by mortal
eyes except by the outlaws. On the
night previous to his capture H.B. Lowrie and his associates had fifty-six of
the Indians of Scuffletown as accomplices, guarding the roads to give the signal
when Sanders would enter their lines, and when poor Sanders entered their lines
he heard the rough word, “Halt!”
Almost immediately the voice of Sanders was heard by some other white prisoners
saying, “I surrender.” The outlaws
then marched Sanders off to a secret camp on the
<![if !supportLists]> 1869 <![endif]>Mr. Thompson was visited again with the purpose of murdering a man named Perry, who was superintending Mr. Thompson’s farm. The gang had been told that Perry was at the head of the party. Stephen Lowrie and three armed men found Mr. Thompson and arrested him. Mr. Perry escaped through a back door. The gang then returned Mr. Thompson to his farm.
Many years after 1870 the author wrote about the HOME OF RHODA LOWERY but
referred back to 1870 as the time that her husband, Henry Berry Lowry, was
leading the gang. She wrote that
even though Rhoda must have been almost 60 she looked like a 40 year old woman.
Her father was a Yankee and her mother a Sweet, the latter being a family
in South Carolina who lived in a place where there are several of the Croatan
families, one of these having formerly been the Dirigos, though this is
corrupted into quite another name.
She spoke of her husband as being the handsomest man she ever saw.
She had several acres of ground and raised on it everything she needed.
The names Lowery, Locklear, Oxendine, Dial, Bullard, Sampson, Brooks, and
Chavis were heard, those of Locklear and Lowery predominating.
It was found that the
<![if !supportLists]> 1871 <![endif]>Shoemaker John was found guilty of crimes in the March superior in Robeson and was sentenced to serve ten years in the State’s penitentiary. He appeared to be happy to get there because the Lowrie gang had threatened to kill him on sight.
Mr. Mc Nair was on his way to Red Banks; when he was about a mile from the Banks, he met four of the robber clan in a turpentine wagon; they ordered him to stop or they would shoot him. He checked his horse, and Steve Lowrie walked up and caught his bridle; H.B. Lowrie and Boss Strong then went up to him, took him by his hands, one on each side, and inquired if he had a pistol; he told them he did not and pushed Boss Strong from him. Boss then took his buggy whip and struck him across the head with it one time, and one of the others struck him with his gun; Steve Lowrie then called out and said: “Boys, I told you not to hurt him.” Henry Berry then searched his pockets, taking his pocket-book and several letters that he was carrying to the office to be mailed. He handed the letters to Tom Lowrie, and he kept the pocket-book, stepping to one side to examine its contents. After he had satisfied himself as to what it contained, he turned to Mr. McNair and asked him which he preferred to have his pocket-book and go back home or for him (H.B. Lowrie) to keep the pocket book and allow Mr. McNair to go to the Banks. He replied that he had business at the Banks, and he intended going unless they killed him, and he wanted both the pocket-book and letters, which Tom Lowrie had still in possession. Henry Berry gave him the pocket-book, telling him he had but fifteen dollars in it he would not take it. Tom Lowrie handed him two of the letters, retaining five. They then told him he could go on, but to say nothing to any one about meeting them; but he paid no attention to the last order.
1871, February 26-----“On a Saturday night 13 young men
captured Henderson Oxendine, 28, in
the house of his brother-in-law, George Applewhite.
He was committed to jail in
1871, March---“In March, 1871 a plan formed for ridding and freeing entirely Robeson county of the Lowrie outlaws was entered into by F.M.Wishart, Mudoch A. McLean, George L. McKay, Frank McKay, John A. McKay, W.H. McCallum, J. Douglas McCallum, Archie D. McCallum, Archie J. Mc Fadyen, Malcom McNeill, (Greeley) and Faulk J. Floyd, and persistently carried out.”
1871, April 15-----Henderson Oxendine was hanged inside the
jail yard at
1871, April 21----“The Sheriff of the county, Rod. McMillan and seven other men surrounded H.B. Lowrie’s house and discovered that the whole band was inside. They went to get others to help so that they might capture the whole outlaw gang. While this was in progress H.B. Lowrie and the other outlaws made their escape through a “trap door and a tunnel”, dug some distance from the house of H.B. Lowrie, as was afterwards ascertained; and they (the outlaws) throwing themselves back on the road which they supposed would be traveled by the Sheriff on his return, ambuscaded the recruits as they were crossing the Back Swamp and fired on them, killing instantly Mr. Giles Inman, a youth aged eighteen years, and wounded Mr. Frank McKay. Some time after this happened H.B. Lowrie informed Mr. Inman that he was sorry that he had killed his son Giles.”
1871, June was the
last raid made on Mr. McNair.
1871, July 8-----“The County Commissioners called out ten men in each Township to serve one week by turns, and place the men under command of F.M. Wishart with headquarters at Buie’s Store in the heart of Scuffletown. He began duty on July 8, 1871.”
1871, July 10-----“On July 10, 1871, several persons
suspected of harboring and sympathizing with the outlaws were arrested by order
of the Sheriff, including the wives of H.B. Lowrie, George Applewhite, and
Andrew Strong. The party who
arrested the wives of the outlaws were fired on from an ambuscade by the outlaws
when near Buie’s Store, immediately on the railway, and Archibald A. McMillan
was instantly killed, and Archibald Brown and Hector McNeill were mortally
wounded, from the effects of which they died next morning.
1871, July 14
Five armed men were seen approaching Mr. McNair’s house about daylight.
Mrs. McNair thinking that it was some of the militia ordered breakfast to
be prepared for them. When
breakfast was ready Mr. McNair came out and told her that it was the Lowrie band
and they wanted something to eat.
They went into breakfast taking their arms with them.
They wanted Mr. McNair to write a letter for them, to take it down to
1871, July 17----“Two brothers, Murdoch A. McLean and Hugh McLean, were killed in the a.m. on the public road, one mile south of Maxton, on the Carolina Central Railway, near a mill on Black Branch in full view of the residence of Mrs. Margaret McLean.”
1871, August----This was the last time that the entire band went to visit Mr. Bridgers’ house.
1871, November 1----The Lowrie robbers went into the residence of Mr. Angus S. Baker about 9 o’clock p.m. and took household items among other things.
1872, February 19-------“On the morning of this date it was
discovered that the robber clan had committed robberies.
Two of the young gentlemen were out early going to their places of
business and discovered the iron safe from the Sheriff’s office
in the street about fifty yards from the Court House.
An alarm went off. Another
thing found missing was a horse and dray, from the stables of Mr. A.W. Fuller.
The business of Pope and McLeod was found to have been broken into.
They found their safe was missing and had contained a large amount of
money belonging to the firm, as well as that of others which had been deposited
with them for safe keeping; all their valuable papers and books were also in the
safe; in addition to this, they took dry goods, ready made clothing, boots,
shoes, guns, etc.” A key was found
in the pocket of Tom
Lowrie when he was killed
which fitted the lock of the front door of the store robbed, and it was supposed
they entered the store with the false key, locked it, and passed out through the
back door. It was the next day
after their visit to
1872, February 20----“Early on the morning of February 20,
1872, between daylight and sunrise, the whole band of outlaws returned to the
house of Tom Lowrie after their raid on Lumberton, having on the previous night
entered the store of Messrs. Pope and Mcleod, and abstracting there from an iron
safe, and proceeding thence to the Court House and entering the Sheriff’s office
and taking along his iron safe, proceeded forthwith to leave Lumberton by way of
the turnpike road leading across the country by Morrisey’s mill.
Finding their load too heavy, they dropped the Sheriff’s safe on the
1872, March 6----“James McQueen alias Donahoe went to Scuffletown alone and to check out the outlaws and their habits and where they lived for some months. Then he got himself a Henry rifle and cooked up provisions to last him three days, and went into the dreary swamps of Scffletown and arrived at the house of Andrew Strong on the south side of Lumber river, about one mile from Harper’s Ferry and about ten miles from Maxton on the Carolina Central Railway.”
1872, Thursday, March 7-----“James McQueen or Donahoe arrived at the house of Andrew Strong on this date. He made a blind about a hundred and fifty yards from the house and watched for the rest of the night and all the next day and ate the food that he had cooked. Andrew appeared on Friday, March 8, looked around and then went into the house and came back and gave a low call and Boss Strong came out of the woods to the house; they were well armed.Donahoe looked in through the cat hole in the door and saw Miss Cummings and Flora Andrew’s wife. Boss laid down on the floor with his feet to the fire and his head towards me, and began playing on a mouth harp; then Donahoe pushed his rifle (a Henry) through the cat-hole until it was not over three feet from his head and took a steady aim by the light and shot; when the gun fired the women screamed and said “He’s shot!’. Donahoe withdrew his gun. Boss’ arms and legs fell straight from his body, and there was a little movement of his shoulders as if he was trying to get up. Andrew Strong remained in the shadow of the chimney corner, and he stayed there until Donahoe left. Andrew sent his wife out to look around. Boss was shot in the head. Donahoe left and came back later with other men and found Rhoda Lowrie, wife of Henry B. Lowrie and sister to Boss and Andrew Strong, wiping up the blood on the floor that had come from Boss’ head. Women were there but the body of Boss Strong was not because the men had removed it to a secluded spot and told the women not to tell. Donahoe and his party did not find the body of Boss Strong.
1872, May 16------“Col. F. M. Wishart who was a Confederate officer, and served throughout the war between the states. He was killed on the main road leading from Lumberton to Rockingham, in Richmond county, about one and a half miles from Lebanon Presbyterian Church, on the south side of Lumber River, and about two miles from Red Banks bridge, where he had gone alone to have an interview with the outlaws, in accordance with an agreement made with them at Moss Neck on the previous Friday.
1872, May 23-----“The
Robesonian newspaper gives the details of the
1872, July 15------“The Lowrie outlaws sent a message to
Col. F.M. Wishart’s two brothers, A Strong Wishart and Robert E. Wishart to
leave the county or they might expect to be killed.
Instead of obeying the orders of the outlaws, they armed themselves with
Spencer rifles and getting two others to join them set out on the 17th
of July for the swamps of Scuffletown, to hunt the outlaws.
On the 18th of July they were informed that Tom Lowrie one of
the outlaws was in the habit of visiting the house of Furney Prevatt.
They went there and waited all night and the whole next day until after
dark and then they went nearer to the house in order to watch the movements.
Soon Tom Lowrie came out of
the house with a woman and went into a crib near by.
They heard Tom say that he intended to go next day to Union Chapel to a
public speaking that was to come off there.
They decided to try to intercept the outlaw on his way to Union Chapel.
They took a guide and stopped where the road crossed the
“Tom Lowrie was thirty-seven years of age when killed; possessed broad shoulders; a strong and active body; straight black hair; would weigh about 180 lbs. and was five feet ten inches high. He had bluish gray eyes and when observed closely, a furtive look that seemed to take in the whole situation at a glance. He had been twice captured and placed in jail each time making his escape.”
1872, December 25------“At this time Steve Lowrie and Andrew Strong were the only two remaining outlaws. On December 25 in the morning, they went to the store of Mr. John Humphrey at Pates, a station on the Carolina Central Railway, in the heart of Scuffletown, where Mr. William Wilson was a clerk, and informed him that he had been talking about them. Mr. Wilson did not say much, one way or the other, whereupon Andrew Strong told Mr. Wilson “that he would give him until train time the next day to leave the county, and that if he did not leave, that he (Andrew Strong) would kill him;” they then left Pates, heavily armed on a Christmas Frolic. Mr. Wilson, after their departure, loaded up a double-barrel shot-gun with buck-shot, and concealed it under a coverlet in an adjoining room for use whenever the outlaws would make their appearance. So about 4 o’clock p.m., on the same day, Andrew Strong alone made his appearance again at the store of Mr. John Humphrey, and after purchasing a few articles of merchandise, turned and walked out on the piazza in front of the store, and leaning up against a post with his back towards the door of the store, Mr. Wilson deliberately fired on him, the shot taking effect in the neck of the outlaw, killing him almost instantly. Several Indians being present, Mr. Wilson informed them that whoever touched or laid his hand on the body of Andrew Strong, he would kill him instantly with the other barrel of his shot-gun, which was then cocked; he then pressed a wagon and a pair of mules and compelled John Humphrey, Floyd Oxendine and two other Indians, (names not recollected) to place the body of Andrew Strong in the wagon and accompany him, with the remains of the dead outlaw, to Lumberton, where the whole party arrived sometime after nightfall, and formally delivered the body of Andrew Strong to the Sheriff of the county, who identified it as the body of Andrew Strong, and paid forthwith the reward which had been offered for the body of Andrew Strong, dead or alive, and fixed up the papers for Mr. Wilson to draw from the State Treasury the amount offered by the State, which amount the State Treasurer paid Mr. Wilson as soon as he presented the papers. Andrew Strong was the elder brother of Boss Strong and was in his twenty-fourth year. He was a little over six feet high, tall and slim, and nearly white; he possessed beard of somewhat of a reddish color, and had dark straight hair on his head. He married the daughter of Henry Sampson, another Indian of Scuffletown.”
1873-74-----“The Legislature of North Carolina, at this session passed a bill authorizing the State Treasurer to pay to James McQueen $5,000 for killing Boss Strong. Boss Strong was the youngest of the gang of the outlaws, and was the most trusted and inseparable companion of Henry Berry Lowrie, his brother-in-law. He was only around twenty when he was killed. He was nearly white, with dark, short-cut hair that had somewhat of a reddish tinge, slightly curling. A thick down appeared on his lips but otherwise he was beardless. He had that dull, bluish eye belonging to all Scuffletonians generally, and was generally silent and taciturn but he had the demon in him when aroused he had a dogged determined look. He had the courage of a bull-pup and next to Henry Berry Lowrie, the leader, was regarded as the worst of the party. He was about five feet ten inches high, thick set, with a full face and would weigh one hundred and sixty-five pounds. When Boss Strong was killed the other men were seldom seen or heard of for several months.
1874, January 6----Mr. Townsend’s dwelling-house and kitchen were burned down, his loss amounting to between five and six thousand dollars.
1874, February 23----“Stephen Lowrie was about six feet high, well proportioned, carrying his head a little forward, giving him the appearance of being slightly stoop-shouldered. He was always well armed with navy repeaters, a Henry rifle and occasionally a double barrel gun. After the killing of the other members of the band, and he was left the field to himself, he remained for several months very quiet. He finally began to grow weary of the hum-drum, inactive life he was leading, and he was gradually becoming troublesome. He drank a good deal, and in his drinking hours was really dangerous. He made many threats, particularly while drinking, as to what he intended doing were he not pardoned, and asserted positively that he had boys drilling, as soon as they equaled him in marksmanship they would start out. Several times within a few days before he was killed he mentioned the names of three young men in the neighborhood that he had decided to kill in a few days. Mr. Patterson was one of the men who aided in killing Stephen Lowrie and the one Stephen had mentioned killing.
1875 Hamilton McMillan began his investigations of the Indians in the most critical manner in this year when his home was in the centre of the Croatan Settlement, where he had the best opportunities of interviewing leading men of the tribe. His first step was to find the reason for the striking English names found among the Croatans, and so these were compared with those on the roll of White’s lost colony. Out of the 120 persons in that colony 90 family names were represented and of these White, Bailey, Dare, Cooper, Stevens, Sampson, Harvie, Howe, Johnson, Willes, Brown, Smith, Harris, Little, Taylor, Jones, Brooks, Coleman, Graham, Bennett, Lucas, Wilkinson, Vicars, Berry, Butler, Wright, Allen, Chapman, Lasie, Cheven, Paiue, Scott, Little, Martin, Patterson, Bridger, Wood, Powell, Pierce, Charman, Payne, and Sampson are found among the Croatan of this time. The name Darr, Durr, and Dorr is variously used by these people and really Dare. Their pronunciation is broad and they use great numbers of old English words. Families bearing the names Dorr or Durr are to be found in the western part of North Carolina and these are claimed by the Croatans, who assert that the Dares, Coopers, Harvies, and a few others retain the purity of blood and were generally the pioneers of immigration.
They have a tradition of their leader or chief who went to
The name Mayno is quite common among them and represents in their tongue a quiet and law-abiding people.
The great difficulty has been to ascertain the date when
the Croatans left the coast country for the interior, but it seems certain that
they have lived in Robeson county over 220 years.
The traditions universal among them show they were seated there long
before the great war with the Tuscaroras began in 1711.
It seems that in their friendship for the whites, some of the Croatans
fought under Colonel Branwell, who was in command of the troops and friendly
Indians sent up from
1887, The people were recognized as a race in this year. The author wrote that before this recognition a Croatan woman married a negro.
APPENDIX to the Norment Book